March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup for March 26

Here are the latest news briefings on COVID-19 from The Synergist:

Training Tool Available for Responders, Workers with Potential COVID-19 Exposure

Following Congressional approval March 6 of funding for training to prevent and reduce exposure of workers to the new coronavirus, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has developed training materials for responders and other workers who are at risk of exposure through their work. The worker-based training is available as a PowerPoint file, a PDF, or an interactive online version.

The training has separate modules addressing basic information about COVID-19, assessing risk of exposure in the workplace, and methods of prevention. The training also includes information about the hierarchy of controls and the differences between respirators and face masks.

A press release from NIEHS’ parent agency, the National Institutes of Health, indicates that additional materials will be developed for the NIEHS site with the goal of protecting emergency medical personnel, firefighters, law enforcement officers, environmental cleanup workers, high-risk custodial service workers, food processing and delivery workers, water and sewage treatment workers, sanitation workers, and health care facility employees.

CDC Releases Return-to-Work Guidelines for Healthcare Workers

Interim guidelines released this week by CDC describe two strategies occupational health programs and public officials can use to determine whether healthcare workers who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 can return to work. Read more.

CDC: Asymptomatic Transmission Contributed to Severity of Cruise Ship Outbreak

Nearly half of the passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the new coronavirus did not have symptoms at the time of testing, according to a new report from CDC. The Diamond Princess was the setting of the largest COVID-19 outbreak outside China in the early stages of the pandemic. Read more.

PPE Calculator Helps Healthcare Facilities Optimize Supplies

A spreadsheet available from CDC allows healthcare facilities optimize the use of personal protective equipment for response to COVID-19. The tool calculates the average consumption rate of PPE such as gowns, respirators, gloves, surgical masks, and face shields. Healthcare facilities can use the calculations to estimate the remaining supply of these items.

LitCovid Collects Scientific Literature on COVID-19

LitCovid, a new website supported by the National Institutes of Health, provides free access to the growing body of scientific literature on COVID-19. Updated daily, LitCovid includes more than 1,700 articles from the PubMed search engine. The articles are categorized into several topics, including general information, findings from genetic sequencing and image analysis, characteristics of transmission, methods for detection and treatment, case reports, and estimates of disease spread.

WHO Seeks Information about Training Workers on COVID-19

A survey distributed by the World Health Organization seeks information from health professionals that WHO could use to develop training for health workers worldwide to improve their knowledge and skills related to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to WHO, the survey takes three minutes to complete.